DECEMBER 16, 2014—The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamship Authority, Martha’s Vineyard, MA, recently awarded a $36.4 million contract to Conrad Shipyard, LLC, Morgan City, LA, to construct a new 235 ft long passenger/vehicle ferry.
To be named the M/V Woods Hole, the ferry will have a capacity of 384 passengers and 55 vehicles. The SSA received two bids to build the ferry, one from Conrad and the other from Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., Panama City, FL, whose bid was $40,994,000.
Conrad Shipyard, which has shipyards in south Louisiana and Texas, has a long history of building ferries, most recently for North Carolina, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
The board of the Steamship Authority reported that SSA Director of Engineering and Maintenance Carl Walker, Captain Edward Jackson of Marine Systems Corp. and Brian King of naval architectural firm Elliott Bay Design Group recently traveled to Morgan City to assess Conrad Shipyard’s capability to build the new passenger/vehicle ferry in accordance with the authority’s contract requirements.
When it is delivered in the spring of 2016, the M/V Woods Hole will serve Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. She will replace the 60-year-old freight ferry Governor.
The board also approved a $40,236,500 overall budget for the new ferry project, including the estimated cost of design and engineering services, owner-furnished equipment, the cost of having authority representatives at the shipyard during the appropriate stages of vessel construction, and an allowance of 2.5% for unforeseen contingencies. That owner-furnished equipment will be a Tees White Gill Model #40CS Cross Shaft Bow Thruster that is being supplied by Tees Components Limited of Cleveland, United Kingdom, under a separate contract valued at $274,965.
Finally, in order to pay for the vessel, the board approved a bond resolution authorizing the sale of up to $38,250,000 Steamship Bonds (with the balance of the project’s costs being paid for from the SSA’s Replacement Fund).
Repairs to Island Home
Meanwhile, the board also awarded a $948,893 contract to Thames Shipyard & Repair Co., New London, CT, for dry-dock and overhaul services for the M/V Island Home. The M/V Island Home is scheduled to go into the shipyard from early March 2015 to early April 2015 to undergo a required United States Coast Guard hull inspection, machinery inspections, underwater hull cleaning and painting, superstructure painting, rub rail repairs, and installation of anti-swaying equipment for the lift decks.